New Year’s thanks-giving Service and Blessing of the Vasilopita (Saint Basil’s Bread) – Cathedral of St George, Cape Town

His Eminence Archbishop Sergios, Metropolitan Bishop of Cape Town officiated at the Service of the Holy Eucharist which was followed by the Doxology for the New Year and the blessing of the Vasilopita, in the presence of the Greek Consul in Cape Town, Mr Thomas Matsoukas and Mr Nassos Martalas, president of the Hellenic Community of Cape Town.

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In his address after the Service His Eminence assured Consul Matsoukas that the Church always has and continues to pray for our Motherland, Greece – not only for an economic recovery but more importantly for the Spiritual growth of her people, both in Greece and abroad.  He said that Mr Martalas was born in Egypt and that Christ and Panaghia and her protector, Saint Joseph travelled to Egypt as refugees and because of this Egypt is a blessed Country. He said that of all the European countries, the Greek government and citizens of Greece have shown the most compassion towards the unfortunate refugees who are fleeing their war-torn countries under very dangerous circumstances.  And although Greece is in an economic crisis the Churches offer them refuge and the inhabitants share what little they have to help them and that they are setting a good example to the world.

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His Eminence wished Mr Martalas prosperity and progress of the Hellenic Community for the coming year. He added that it is understandable that there were not many people attending the Service due to the celebrations the night before and thanked Father Nikolaos for his dedication to the Spiritual welfare of all the Orthodox Communities in Cape Town. he also thanked the Psalters and wished them a blessed New-Year. Finally, His Eminence wished all those who are celebrating their name day and wished everyone a blessed New Year. After he blessed the Vasilopites, which had been prepared by Mrs Despo Tsouvelekis and Mrs Evanthia Psomas, Consul Mr Matsoukas and Mr Martalas cut them before they were shared by everyone present.

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